The Best Valentine’s Day Ever - Geneva College, a Christian College in Pennsylvania (PA)
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Everyday Living Faith
February 14, 2018

The Best Valentine’s Day Ever

You go to your mailbox, reach in, and pull out a cylindrical object – a can of Crush. Your heart beats as you pull back the tab and hear the fizz let out a sweet sigh, sounding almost like a whispered, “I love you.” Could this be from your crush, your “true love?” You can almost picture it now: you’re on the couch hand-in-hand with the man/woman of your dreams.  Drinking your orange soda, you share a bag of love pills (aka. candy grams from the chemistry club) as you watch the latest edition of A Geneva Fairytale. What sweet ecstasy! This would be the best Valentine’s ever! Finally, you will know what it means to love. Love is what Valentine’s Day is all about anyway, right?

Well, yes and no. Valentine’s Day is most certainly about love. Unfortunately, however, love is often highly misunderstood. Although a little dramatic, the above story is often the way in which we think about finding our “true love.” The butterflies when you see him/her, the thrill of first holding hands, the flirting and sideways glances are all exciting for a moment, but in the end, that is just what they are – momentary. They are not fulfilling in the long run and miss the point of what love truly is. The true essence of love is much more than a feeling; it is much more than a thrill; it is much more than a crush.

For a perfect picture of love, we need look no further than our Heavenly Father. 1 John 4:8 says, “God is Love.” It does not say that God loves but rather that God IS love; it completely encompasses and is embedded into His very nature and essence of being. As God’s Son, Jesus gave the ultimate example of love on the cross as He shed His blood. Love Himself sacrificed all in the ultimate act of love. From Jesus’ example, we learn one of the most profound truths about this fruit of the spirit. Love is sacrificial.

In today’s culture, we often skew the concept of love. We have a mindset of “What can I get” instead of “What can I give.” We think, “What’s in it for me?” With this framework, we approach or enter into relationships with a mentality of selfishness. Thinking only of ourselves, we are consumed with whether it will make us happy and fulfill our dreams, desires, and longings. But this is completely wrong! The mentality of selfishness needs to transition to a mentality of selflessness. But how?

To make this transition, we need to realize that at the core of true love, lies action. Often, we equate love with feeling, but love is not a noun. It is a verb. In other words, love is action; it is an active choice in what we say, think, and do. As Christ hung on the cross, I’m sure He had many feelings – sadness, anger, loneliness, rejection, etc. However, He actively chose to put all feelings aside, finish His work on the cross, and even intercede for His oppressors, asking for their forgiveness. What sacrifice! What selflessness! What love!

So, this Valentine’s Day, follow Christ’s example. Stop and really think about the motives of your heart. Rather than being self-consumed, become other-consumed. Whether through a caring word, a warm smile, a small act of kindness, or a listening ear, be a person of action. Feelings are not love. Love is action, actions that are selfless, actions that are sacrificial, actions that point to the all-consuming love of God. So, today, be love; be selfless; be a person of action. If you do this, not only will you make someone else’s Valentine’s Day, but you will have the best Valentine’s Day ever guaranteed.

-Olivia Forton ‘19